Waking up about Wal-Mart

Bruce Springsteen’s Super Bowl halftime appearance came as he apologized for a promotional deal he signed with Wal-Mart to promote his greatest hits album. Springsteen feels Wal-Mart doesn’t treat its employees well.

First off, where does someone nicknamed “The Boss” get off talking about employee conditions? The boss never knows what’s really going on.

Second, there are some people Springsteen should talk to before chiding the working conditions at Wal-Mart. The first is Jason Furman, a key economic advisor to President Obama, who wrote a paper calling Wal-Mart “A Progressive Success Story” for providing low-income workers with affordable goods.

The other is Charles Platt, a blogger who gave an insider’s account of life behind the smiley face as an actual Wal-Mart employee. I think it’s been a while since Springsteen found himself inside a Wal-Mart, so I’ll take Platt’s word on what the working conditions are like.

Most of the criticisms about Wal-Mart come from unions – who would love to siphon off union dues from the paychecks of Wal-Mart’s millions of employees. The bad news for them is that Wal-Mart and its employees have a good thing going – even if the Boss doesn’t know it.

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